July 2008


Homer Alaska

Weeks ending Jul 13th






As July rolled around we were thrilled to welcome Sharon and Stephanie who last visited us in Thailand back in 2002.  We tried to show them a good time, while not wearing them out too much.  We took them:
  • Local sightseeing - First the obligatory trip around the area to see the Spit and other local sights - fortunately a young moose was on the route and posed for them.
  • Seldovia - Judi acted as the local guide and led Sharon and Stephanie on a day across the Bay to visit this cute town, collecting souvenirs and memories.
  • July 4th - The last time we saw Sharon on the 4th was in France; this time we conscripted her to join us at the Homer 4th of July parade since Bob had volunteered to ride the local Democratic float (actually a bike) along the parade route to feature candidates of interest to us.
  • Whittier - After exhausting the local sights we piled in the RV and headed north on the Kenai. First stop was Whittier, an interesting little harbor that is accessible only by sea or a one-way tunnel that only opened to car travel a few years ago, even though the tunnel was built for WW II. Whittier is a destination for cruise ships and tourists so we visited all the shops and wandered the marina docks. 
  • The Glaciers - We stopped at Portage which has a wonderful visitor center and floating ice floes on a lake and at Exit Glacier where you can walk right up to ice.
  • Kenai River - No trip to Alaska would be really complete without a day on the water so we joined a rafting trip on the Kenai River; not exactly a whitewater adventure but is was exciting and bald eagles made an appearance for our dose of wildlife.  We then wrapped up a good day with a campfire and glass of wine - what could be better?
  • Bears - Both ladies had an interest in seeing the fuzzy guys so we went to our favorite campgrounds and the visit exceeded our expectations. On the first evening Bob and Sharon walked along the river and found a black bear peeking out from behind a tree and a grizzly snoozing in a tree.  The next day the 3 ladies retraced our route and spotted another brown bear, also in a tree although a little more active.  At another campsite we were approached by a young bear who apparently had smelled frying bacon.

Weeks ending Jul 27th

Our nest became empty as Sharon and Stephanie headed back home and Alaska politics moved to the fore.  We were volunteers for Obama and active in the local Democratic organization so that drove much of the rest of the summer.

Concert on the Lawn - The local radio station sponsors a weekend of concerts and craft tents and as Democrats plugging a stable of candidates we set up a booth and proceeded to sit in the rain for 48 hours as we had the wettest weekend of the year. At the end the weather started to clear and we were able to spread our brochures and information to many interested (?) people who stopped by.

Begich Fundraiser - Earlier in the month the campaign for Mark Begich, who was running for a US Senate seat for Alaska, called to say they wanted to schedule a fundraiser during the Concert weekend. I contacted Kat Haber and asked if she would be willing to provide the place if I could find volunteers to provide food and stuff.  She readily agreed and so we took a break from the rainy weather to hear Mark up close and personal. About 25 people came, and hopefully it was productive for his candidacy.

First apartment paying guests - Another exciting milestone - after all of the work to remodel the apartment, and friends who heaped praise on it, we finally had a couple of paying guests. In fact it was a couple from England on their first trip to Alaska and they were quite taken with it.  Judi was very proud of the result of many hours of work.